Off the southernmost tip of the Isle of Wight is no place for an inexperienced sailor. With that forethought, there would be few "greenhands" onboard Louis Loubat's racing schooner, ENCHANTRESS. Built in Greenpoint, New Jersey from a model by Captain Bob Fish, one of the most experienced yachtsmen of any day, she was a product of the Pine shipyard. Captain Fish would sail her over "the pond" in 1874 and lead her for part of the next three seasons in English waters. Here she competes directly with two English schooners pressing her hard, EGERIA and PANTOMIME.
The warm light upon the give depth to this dramatic and complicated composition. The Nab Lightship is a marker point, with the excursion committee steamer of the Royal Yacht Squadron keeping times for the racers. Stateside, ENCHANTRESS was a direct competitor of SAPPHO, and had a continued record of success. She won the Cape May Cup in its second year, in a race from the Sandy Hook Lightship to the Cape and back.
The large schooner measured 127'2" in length with a 24'1" beam and a depth of 10'3". She originally was ordered and owned by George Lorillard, a tobacco baron of the 19th Century, who sold the racing yacht to Loubat in 1873. In a remarkable effort, Couch has somewhat deviated from his proven broadsides of 19th Century racing yachts to a spectacular frozen moment against a difficult headwind and a cresting ocean in the southern reaches of England.
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